Charlottetown: Stand under my…

Photography by Patrick Callbeck

Photography by Patrick Callbeck

Rihanna may have fallen on some hard times but in rainy April the umbrella is still having a moment—it’s probably the accessory that best embodies the spirit of Charlottetown. They are stylish, classic, useful and nearly omnipresent in early spring when the city begins to resemble a giant puddle.

Besides the obvious reason to carry an umbrella, it can serve several other purposes:

1) An umbrella can be used as a cane. One can balance one’s weight on a tall umbrella, even out long jerky strides and just generally be jaunty, without looking completely ridiculous.

2) Umbrellas are also good anti-mugging devices. Buy one with a heavy steel handle and you might not look like a helpless, hapless, would-be victim.

3) Umbrellas have a place in pop culture history. Pair up a red one with a well-cut suit and a charming damsel in distress in homage to graphic novels in the vein of Sin City or The Spirit. With shiny black shoes and a fedora, it will turn every moment into a Singin’ in the Rain moment. A sturdy black umbrella with a beige London Fog trench inspires thoughts of Inspector Gadget. Go go must-have accessory!

My favourite place to buy this essential springtime device is Bookmark (172 Queen St., 902-566-4888, an independently operated book lover’s paradise. These umbrellas are covered with paintings of famous authors, poets and playwrights. Shopping online can also be a treat—my favourite spot for inspiration is Pasotti Ombrelli ( Enjoy!

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